Sunday, November 22, 2009

Our Kind of King

Today we celebrate "Christ the King." How many of the OT Jewish wanted a king, a victorious king! How many of the NT folks who followed Jesus say in him a kingship, an opportunity to share in his authority and power! In their hearts the beat was to a different kind of kingship -- far, so very far from what Jesus came to preach and to be.

The picture proposed for Christ the King, at least for me, is what I imagine and hope Jesus our King would be. His is truly a kingship like no other experienced in history. Unlike all those who have ruled with kingly power, his kingship continues even today. Unlike those before and after his time on earth, Jesus' authority and power were so different. The kingship of Jesus, the Christ, is a life of service to all people, especially to the poor -- of whatever brand of poverty -- and the needy -- again of whatever brand of need.

To be sure, Jesus' brand of kingship fails the wants of the proud, the pompous and the haughty. Our king is truly branded when he feeds the hungry, when he protects those ridiculed or mistreated. The life of Jesus Christ, the King, is not one of trumpeted politial accomplishments. The life of the Bethlehem baby is, rather, the outstretched hand, the shoulder-comforting arm, the teared face when a friend dies, the patience when a colleague fails. He is the king who gave "his life as a ransom for the many."

"Hail, Redeemer, King divine."

How wondrous these words proclaiming his kingship is of God!

Photo: Simon Downy